Taste of MainStreet celebrates 25 years


For a quarter century, the Taste of MainStreet has showcased the best of downtown Encinitas. Hosted by the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association, the 25th annual event on Aug. 19 will once again celebrate the community’s local restaurants and businesses along Highway 101.

“Restaurants are a main feature of our downtown,” said Dody Crawford, executive director of the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association, which works to revitalize, restore and promote downtown Encinitas. “It just makes sense to offer a Taste of MainStreet to promote and feature them, so that’s what we’ve done for 25 years.”

About 15 restaurants participated in the inaugural Taste of MainStreet in 1989. Today, more than 30 restaurants will offer samples to the roughly 1,200 people who are expected to attend.

Last year the association expanded the event by adding beer and wine tastings hosted by various retail shops and salons. This year’s 17 “sip stops” will feature beer from local San Diego craft breweries and wine from Temecula Valley wineries.

“It’s like trick-or-treating for adults,” Crawford said. “You go from door to door and get treats. It’s awesome.”

Participating restaurants include Bier Garden, Blue Ribbon Pizza, Chuao Chocolatier, Encinitas Fish Shop, Encinitas Pizza Company, Leucadia Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, Lobster West, Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar, Solace and the Moonlight Lounge, Union Kitchen and Tap, and many more. Sip Stops include Bliss 101, Detour Salon, Gardenology, Pink Soul Boutique, and Savory Spice Shop, to name a few.

The event will also feature live music performances in five different locations along the strip. This year’s featured act is instrumental jazz group The Red Fox Tails, which will perform at the biggest venue, The Lumberyard Courtyard Stage, at Highway 101 and H Street.

“Taste of MainStreet is a great way for the community to come together in our downtown,” Crawford said. “We like to feature our downtown and get people to come down here and see the stores, the restaurants and the businesses we have. It’s a place for everybody to meet and socialize in a friendly, picturesque venue.”

Taste of MainStreet takes place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 19 along Highway 101 in Encinitas. Tickets cost $35 and include food, wine and beer tastings. If available, same day tickets cost $45.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit